Sandwiched between Black Friday and Cyber Monday is Small Business Saturday when local retailers and business owners band together to get customers shopping in their communities.
“It shouldn’t be about getting up at 5 a.m. and running through a door and getting trampled — it’s not the spirit of Christmas. When you come here, you’re important to us,” said Elaine Moffett, owner of Periwinkle’s Fine Gifts. “You’re an individual and you’re treated very kindly year round by us.”
The movement was started in 2010 by American Express as a way to help small businesses rebound from the recession. The incentive: a statement credit on cardholders’ bills. Now, it’s a holiday weekend mainstay with the support of the U.S. Small Business Administration.
This is the biggest shopping weekend of the year. SBA Regional Administrator Kellie LeDet says it can make or break a small business.
“Look at the small businesses. Look at what they do. They hire our locals, they stabilize our communities and our economy and are destination spots,” LeDet said.
There are nearly 800,000 small businesses in New Jersey. They employ almost two million people in the Garden State, according to the National Retail Federation. The SBA says more than half the population nationwide owns or works for a small business.
“Two of the three new net jobs in this country will be in small business so we have to make sure that we support these efforts moving forward,” said Congressman Donald Payne, Jr.
“It’s not easy. It’s hard. I come to work at 6 in the morning, I go home at 10 o’clock at night,” said restaurant owner Marcos Quijada. “When I wake up, I wake up with energy because we have a business.”